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A Veteran Remembers


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#1 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 10:39 AM

A Veteran Remembers

By Howard Zinn

 


Let's go back to the beginning of Veterans Day. It used to be Armistice Day, because at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I came to an end.

We must not forget that conflict. It revealed the essence of war, of all wars, because however "just" or "humanitarian" may be the claims, at the irreducible core of all war is the slaughter of the innocent, organized by national leaders, accompanied by lies. World War I was its epitome, as generals and politicians sent young men forward from their trenches, bayonets fixed, to gain a few miles, even a few yards, at frightful cost.

In July 1916 the British General Douglas Haig ordered 11 divisions of English soldiers to climb out of their trenches and move toward the German lines. The six German divisions opened up with their machine guns. Of the 110,000 who attacked, more than half were killed or wounded--all those bodies strewn on no man's land, the ghostly territory between the contending trenches. That scenario went on for years. In the first battle of the Marne there were a million casualties, 500,000 on each side.

The soldiers began to rebel, which is always the most heroic thing soldiers can do, for which they should be given medals. In the French Army, out of 112 divisions, 68 would have mutinies. Fifty men would be shot by firing squads.

Three of those executions became the basis for the late filmmaker Stanley Kubrick's antiwar masterpiece, Paths of Glory. In that film a pompous general castigates his soldiers for retreating and talks of "patriotism." Kirk Douglas, the lieutenant colonel who defends his men, enrages the general by quoting the famous lines of Samuel Johnson: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

The supposed moral justification of that war (the evil Kaiser, the Belgian babies) disintegrated quickly after it ended with sudden recognition of the 10 million dead in the mud of France and the gassed, shellshocked, and limbless veterans confronting the world.

The ugliness of that war was uncomplicated by the moral righteousness that made later wars, from World War II on, unsullied in our memory, or at least acceptable. Vietnam was the stark exception. But even there our national leaders have worked hard to smother what they call "the Vietnam syndrome." They want us to forget what we learned at the Vietnam War's end: that our leaders cannot be trusted, that modern war is inevitably a war against civilians and particularly children, that only a determined citizenry can stop the government when it embarks on mass murder.

Our decent impulse, to recognize the ordeal of our veterans, has been used to obscure the fact that they died, they were crippled, for no good cause other than the power and profit of a few. Veterans Day, instead of an occasion for denouncing war, has become an occasion for bringing out the flags, the uniforms, the martial music, the patriotic speeches reeking with hypocrisy. Those who name holidays, playing on our genuine feeling for veterans, have turned a day that celebrated the end of a horror into a day to honor militarism.

As a combat veteran myself, of a "good war," against fascism, I do not want the recognition of my service to be used as a glorification of war. At the end of that war, in which 50 million died, the people of the world should have shouted "Enough!" We should have decided that from that moment on, we would renounce war--and there would be no Korean War, Vietnam War, Panama War, Grenada War, Gulf War, Balkan War.

The reason for such a decision is that war in our time--whatever "humanitarian" motives are claimed by our political leaders--is always a war against children: the child amputees created by our bombing of Yugoslavia, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children dead as a result of our postwar sanctions. Veterans Day should be an occasion for a national vow: No more war victims on the other side; no more war veterans on our side.


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#2 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 10:59 AM

Our next "humanitarian" war is in the Western Amazon.

 

The US Southern Command's Silent Occupation of the Amazon

Thursday, November 09, 2017 By Santiago Navarro F. and Renata Bessi, Truthout | Report

 

The article begins:

 

 

Brazil, Colombia and Peru share a triple borderland separating north from south on the South American continent. Located deep in the Amazon forest, this is the theater of operations in which more than 30 military companies test their services and merchandise. The multinational military exercise known as AmazonLog2017, is organized by the Armed Forces of Brazil. More than 1,500 members of the Brazilian military and military members from invited countries participated with high-caliber weapons and munitions, boats, aircraft, helicopters, information technologies, nautical and energy intelligent equipment, radars and sensors. The Southern Command of the United States -- the Unified Combatant Command of the United States Department of Defense with influence in the Caribbean, Central and South America -- is also an AmazonLog2017 participant.

 

Activists and researchers are alarmed about this military exercise. According to Mexican economist and geopolitical specialist Ana Esther Ceceña, AmazonLog2017 allows "the placement of troops that facilitate specific territorial incursions and rapid response operations, both of which imply the use of special forces, whether those be US forces, local or private on the triple borderland."

 

 

Full text at:

 

http://www.truth-out...n-of-the-amazon



#3 mjroom

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 04:42 PM

went to the city service this morning, means more to me with each passing year. Thanks to those that served and especially now to those who are serving. A special thank you also to those who put themselves in harms way every day to keep us safe and sound.


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#4 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 05:44 PM

Armistice Day : on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month came the end of the War To End All Wars.   It was made to be a celebration of Peace and a remembrance of the many who died.   It was literally sold as the "war to make the world safe for democracy," by Edward Bernays, the father of the public relations industry.  Now it's a day for military recruiters to show up at schools and be given the floor.  Now it's all about celebrating people (like a younger me) for having  believed the propaganda that wars serve peace, and not the economic interests of the powerful.   This disturbs my sensibilities.   

 

I have this medal for '66, '67, & '68.

 

vietnam_medal01.jpg

 

It wasn't until February of '68 that I learned anything except the propaganda I had been fed.   That was when I wound up in a surgery ward with about a hundred shot up marines from Tet '68.   This ward was one of many, and they were all surgery wards.   Those marines educated me.   My next duty was to wear a .45 on my hip and escort sailors and marines from the brig to their courts martial.   My education continued. 

 

The monopoly media has been in full brainwashing mode for more than my lifetime, and I am seventy.   It has only gotten worse. 

 

What I want to know is when do we get a day for teaching our youth the truth about our wars?  

 

My father was a code expert on the team that broke the Japanese code weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor.   Even "the good war" was a sham and a scam.   What the Joint Chiefs did before Pearl Harbor was not much different than deserter/coke head, G. W. Bush, when he said, "bring it on!"  The Spanish American war had the sinking of the Maine (by a coal dust explosion) and the propagandist help of William Randolph Hearst.   Vietnam has the complete sham of the Tonkin Gulf Incident and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.   The Gulf War had the phony story of the babies being thrown from incubators, after Saddam had been green-lighted by our ambassador to Iraq .   Iraq II had the lie of weapons of mass destruction. 

 

Okay, when you thank me for my service, thank me also for not knowing any better, because that's what the masters of war depend on.  

 

[Direct Link]


Edited by Alder Logs, 11 November 2017 - 06:00 PM.

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#5 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 06:13 PM

How badly do they not get it?

 

Mario Tronti, a member of the 42nd Infantry Division of the US National Guard,

performs "Taps" as an American [battle] flag is raised

on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange, November 10, 2017, in New York City.

 

2017_1111pitt.jpg


Edited by Alder Logs, 11 November 2017 - 06:15 PM.

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#6 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 06:44 PM

A conversation with Howard Zinn

 

[Direct Link]


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#7 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 07:29 PM

Howard Zinn went to college after

he had dropped explosives and napalm

on people from 30,000ft.

 

Could that be why he was able to question

what he was being taught?

 

Howard Zinn

Three Holy Wars

 

[Direct Link]


Edited by Alder Logs, 11 November 2017 - 08:12 PM.

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#8 Juthro

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 11:44 PM

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God bless all those that are tasked to serve the beast, you are human and we love you.
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#9 pharmer

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 12:19 AM

It is difficult to fault people who thank vets for their service. They mean well.

 

but what is it really?

 

Virtue Signaling

 

by telling you what a wonderful thing you've done they signal that they are someone virtuous enough to recognize the virtue in someone else. It's jiu jitsu. They flip your virtue back onto themselves.

 

I don't talk about it but I am also a vet. Big Fucking Deal. Millions of kids a year get suckered into military service. At that age they generally aren't smart enough to put on a condom are are so impressionable that they will fall for the hype and horseshit of "service" and the glory of war. Trust me, you don't need to see much war to know that the glory ain't there. Gore yes, glory no. If you're lucky enough to get out of that asylum with all your parts and your brain working right the only right thing to do is labor to never let it happen again. Try it sometime on  kid whose heard that you've been there and seen the elephant and wants to hear some stories because he's already signed up. It's enough to break your heart.

 

And the speeches from politicians........don't get me started. I'd like to pave the road to the next war with their dead bodies.

 

When I run into someone who has 'served' and they look right in the head I'll wish them a happy Memorial Day. We lived. That's a good reason to be happy.

 

As for patriotism - the second the government appoints itself the Agent of Patriotism all the patriotism goes away and a devious, dirty, fraud takes its place.

 

To me patriotism is what we all here feel for each other. It's a bond we share by choice and affection. Not something obliged by geography and the sanctimonious words of overlords.

 

So much for Veterans Day. Some of us learned lessons from our time on Sams' dime.


Edited by pharmer, 12 November 2017 - 12:24 AM.

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#10 Justintime

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 12:35 AM

Cull the young men who are brave for only they have the fire within to stand against an unjust establishment.

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#11 pharmer

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 12:48 AM

this is comradery

[Direct Link]

 

not to be confused with bullshit

 

[Direct Link]

 

 

 

 

 

this song is said to be about a miners strike in England. I think the words could describe any battle sponsored by a government and fought by little people.


Edited by pharmer, 12 November 2017 - 01:42 AM.


#12 Alder Logs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 12:55 AM

Here's your hot link, pharmer:

 

https://www.

 

youtube.com/

 

watch?v=Kdul4vImn2c

 

===========================

 

If you feel an urge to thank someone for their service, protecting and gaining your rights and freedoms, go find the people who have been the ones who actually did that.  

 

Thank an activist. 


Edited by Alder Logs, 12 November 2017 - 12:59 AM.


#13 Juthro

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 01:12 AM

I support all those that have bled and fought for a dream that may or may not be hoax.

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#14 Justintime

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 01:57 AM


The nostalgia of war is enticing. How else to be remembered for these selfless deads and sacrifices. Where else can you find a true brother and keeper. It is a good day to die.

[Direct Link]


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#15 pharmer

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 02:04 AM

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on the topic of patriotism - it's a mirror with no reflection


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#16 Alder Logs

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 11:13 AM

The nostalgia of war is enticing. How else to be remembered for these selfless deads and sacrifices. Where else can you find a true brother and keeper. It is a good day to die.

[Direct Link]

 

Very moving. 

 

[Direct Link]


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